Moviepass – Would You Do It?

Gizmodo asked the question today – Would an Unlimited Subscription Get Your Ass Back in a Movie Theater Seat?  And for me, the answer is a qualified yes.  Moviepass looks to create a movie theater subscription where you pay them $25-40 a month (based on how expensive movies are in your area) and you can go to one movie per day.  If you want to see 3 or more movies in a month, it ends up being a deal.

So why not more enthusiasm?  A couple of things.  One, there aren’t always 3 or more movies worth seeing in a month.  Maybe it would be nice for those of us who like to see a movie more than once, but that’s not very often.  It’s just as much work as buying a regular ticket now – go on an app, ‘buy’ the movie, then use a Moviepass-specific card to buy the ticket at the theater.  That could change if theaters buy in, but there’s no way to know if they will.  It also has to have ZERO restrictions.  I don’t want to be told I can’t pick this movie or that movie because it’s new, or a ‘special engagement’ or get charged extra for 3D.  I mean, unless you already hit up 2 movies a week, you can probably do just as well as this with the various Groupon-type movie ticket deals that abound, so MoviePass HAS to blow that away with convenience.

It’s something I’m keeping a close eye on, but I don’t yet see anything that’s convincing me to give it a shot.  Yet.

Featured Gadgets Sci/Tech

Friday Finds – Liquid Breathing and Sand Tiger Sharks

Hope everybody had a great week.  I came home from Virginia Beach, and the weather followed me (in the 90s here in sunny Buffalo).  Of course, it’ll be in the 70s in a few days…anyway, here are last week’s posts:

Other things that caught my eye:

Bake your video card to fix it, which sounds really strange but it CAN work.

The Navy is testing a remotely controlled watercraft to patrol bases and harbors.  No weapons…YET.

A fascinating look at language, word sounds and the way the brain works.

 Thanks to a mention of it at Dinosaur Comics, here’s a link to perfluorohexane, a molecule that can let you breathe liquid by adding oxygen to it.  The fact that it feels like you are drowning is a minor bump in the road.  In all seriousness, there are some great uses for it, including breathing help for premies, and treating the lungs of burn victims.  If you’ve seen the move The Abyss, you saw a real rat really doing this.

Speaking of Dinosaur Comics…sand tiger shark babies might be nature’s ultimate baby badasses.

Via Gizmodo, from NASA,  an image of the Shuttle’s last landing, taken from the ISS:

Gadgets Media

Friday Finds – The Original BFG

It’s a light week since I was gone and not posting, due to my Grandmother’s funeral.  One post last week:

Other cool stuff:

Gizmodo has links about the original Big F***ing Gun, the Nazi superweapon ‘Gustav’.  Relevant stats:

The Gustav had a bore diameter of 800 mm (just under a yard) and used 3000 pounds, more than a ton, of smokeless powder charge to fire its two primary shell types: a 10,584 lb. high explosive (HE) shell and a 16,540 lb. concrete-piercing shell—roughly the weight of an unladen 71-passenger school bus, travelling at 2700ft/s.

The HE shell would leave a crater 30 ft deep up to 29 miles away, and the concrete-piercing shell could plow through 264 ft of concrete up to 23 miles away.

How to Stream Your Media from Home to Your Phone Anywhere You Go with Plex next up, from Lifehacker.  If I can replace TVersity with this, AND get streaming to my phone, outstanding.

Truck Crash Releases 14 Million Angry Bees, And Honey, On Highway via NPR and numerous other reports.  The fact that bees are valued at approximately $.03 had internet friends on Twitter trying to come up with ways to pay with your bills with bees.  And bee puns.  Lots of bee puns.


Nerdiest Wedding? YOU DECIDE

Gizmodo has the scoop on what could be the nerdiest wedding in the history of weddings. It is Star Wars themed, down to the Death Star disco ball, Stormtrooper bustier and the tables named for SW universe locations.

Nerdiest Wedding?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Media Wacky

Lego Battlestar Galactica Madness


This is just a fraction of the 35 Vipers and other BSG-themed Lego creations shown off at ‘BrickCon‘ last year. Gizmodo has an in-depth gallery in their post on the matter, and now I want one of these. I wonder if any of these guys has a parts list or build out there…

Gadgets Wacky

Belt-Fed Nerf Cannon Available


Remember the Nerf N-STRIKE Vulcan EBF-25 belt-fed office warfare toy spotted at Toy Fair 2008? It’s available. :D Totally worth it, too.


Graphene – Strongest Material Ever Tested

Technology Review has posted an article about Graphene, which has been thought to be the strongest material known since it was first isolated. Scientists were finally able to test it and confirm that it is.

Jeffrey Kysar and James Hone, mechanical-engineering professors at Columbia University, tested graphene’s strength at the atomic level by measuring the force that it took to break it. They carved one-micrometer-wide holes into a silicon wafer, placed a perfect sample of graphene over each hole, and then indented the graphene with a sharp probe made of diamond.

Now, before you tremble in fear at the thought of the next generation of battle robots covered in this stuff, as they noted that “Only a tiny sample can be perfect and superstrong”. What they ARE interested in using this for is as a replacement for silicon in transistors.

“The main liability concerning the microprocessing industry is strain,” says Julia Greer, a materials scientist at Caltech. Not only must the materials used to make transistors have good electrical properties, but they must also be able to survive the stresses of manufacturing processes and the heat generated by repeated operations. The processes used to pattern metal electrical connections onto microprocessors, for example, exert stresses that can cause chips to fail. And, says Greer, the main obstacle to making faster microprocessors is that “the heat is too much for materials to take.” Based on measurements of its strength, graphene transistors could take the heat.

That means they could stay in the kitchen, as well. Very nice. H/T to Gizmodo for the link to a neat article.


Solar Upgrades

Researchers at MIT have figured out a way to increase the effectiveness of existing solar panels (or create solar power from windows). Here’s a description from the article on just what is happening:

The dye-based organic solar concentrator functions without the use of tracking or cooling systems, greatly reducing the overall cost compared to other concentrator technologies. Dye molecules coated on glass absorb sunlight, and re-emit it at a different wavelengths. The light is trapped and transported within the glass until it is captured by solar cells at the edge. Some light passes through the concentrator and can be absorbed by lower voltage solar cells underneath.

It really seems like alternative energy stuff is picking up speed, which is fantastic. Very cool. H/T to Gizmodo.

Gadgets News

Office Spaced

A California man used an automated script to sign up for more than 58,000 Google Checkout, Paypal, brokerage and other online accounts that use deposit verification techniques, and got sent $58,000. Think Office Space. It would’ve worked, except:

However, Largent used false names, including cartoon characters, as well as false addresses and social security numbers, which opened him to conviction under laws on mail, bank and wire fraud.

I want the list of cartoon characters used. Seen at Gizmodo.

Gadgets Wacky

Wall-Climbing Robot

Check this out: Researchers at SRI International have come up with a wall-climbing robot – one that uses electro-adhesion to attach to the wall. There is a video at the Popular Mechanics link, which shows a tracked ‘vehicle’ climbing up a normal household wall. Pretty neat technology. Spotted at Gizmodo.
Gadgets Wacky

Robot Snow Shovel For Places That Don't Need It

With the incredibly inventive name I-Shovel, to boot. I’ve been expecting something like this, to be honest, but I can’t imagine it will be tough enough to work during a real snowstorm. Spotted at Gizmodo.

Sci/Tech Wacky

Just in Time for the Clan Invasion of the Inner Sphere

Gizmodo brings me this little bit of terror…apparently someone wants to make HUGE Forest Fire fighting robots. With MASSIVE SAW BLADES at the ends of the arms. But of COURSE it will NEVER be used for any sort of military purpose, right? And it will stay perfectly within our control, at all times. Okay! I’m glad it’s just a far-off model at this point, don’t know about you.